Etched in the old industrial landscape of Brooklyn’s historic Gowanus, Fletcher’s serves Brooklyn style ’cue—a style of its own.
As a barbecue hound, I had to explore it.
The idea was conceived by owner Bill Fletcher, aka BBQ Billy, who got this nickname for winning awards for his barbecue and chili. Although he owned a successful advertising agency, his appreciation for all foods cooked over wood and coals made him take a leap into the culinary business and team up with the acclaimed pitmaster Matt Fisher to open Fletcher’s on Third Avenue, a block away from Four & Twenty Blackbirds and around the corner from The Bell House.
Fletcher’s seems to be gaining popularity in this neighborhood. It is small, intimate, and quiet, with very friendly and knowledgeable service. Finally, I’ve found a barbecue place where I can talk and not shout.
The interior’s design blends in the area’s industrial style. On one side is the open kitchen with barbecue pits. There are rows of rugged tables built like tanks and a six-seat bar top crafted by a Hudson, N.Y., woodworker who uses salvaged wood.
A floating wood, gullwing ceiling with illuminated troughs, which references industrial granaries, guides diners through the service line.
Here all meats are served butcher-style, by weight and on large trays covered with butcher paper.
The menu is simple and easy to read with interesting offerings. There is the “Our Barbecue” section with different choices of slow smoked meats including chicken. The Solo Dinner ($17), The Two Meat Dinner ($29), The Pitmaster Dinner ($49) and The Family Dinner ($100).
I am wild for the brisket and ribs, the irresistible Brisket Burnt Ends ($28 per pound). They are the fatty parts of the beef brisket, re-smoked for an extra day. They were piled neatly on one side of the tray. I loved the smoky and the mild flavors of the different spices, while the Sliced Brisket ($24 per pound) was very lean, but dry for my taste, though it did not stop my friend from devouring it.
“I prefer lean and dry over fatty,” he told me happily. The dry-rubbed St. Louis ribs, were not too shabby, either. I must admit that pure meats make a difference in flavors. They are more flavorful. I could not believe how good the Pit Smoked Beans ($6 large) were. This hearty dish is smoked for 46 hours and made with three types of beans and pork, with a nice finish of light heat. Images of the Wild West flashed into my mind as I slowly savored every bite. The Cole Slaw ($4 small) and the Kirby Fridge Pickles ($3, small) were a nice addition to the meal.
The Peach Cobbler makes for a sweet ending.
Fletcher’s bar offers local beers on tap and hand-selected bourbon and rye.
Do not forget to say goodbye to Leftie, Hank, and Joan on your way out. Yes, the pit stations get their own names!
Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue
433 Third Avenue (between Seventh and Eighth streets)
Sunday to Thursday: 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.